What are bad driving habits?

Excerpts from www.arrivealive.co.za

A definition

  • It’s any driving technique which is illegal or not in line with international best practice.
  • It is any regular activity that can and will harm your safety when driving. Most of the time these habits are present without the driver even knowing about them.
  • A bad driving habit can be defined as any driving practice that is inherently unsafe, increases fuel consumption and/or places greater strain on a vehicle’s components leading to greater operational costs.
  • Most of the everyday bad driving habits arise from disobeying the law. Examples of such lawlessness (illegal driving in one way or another) include rolling through stop streets, not stopping at traffic lights and speeding.
  • Many are not regarded as “illegal” but could contribute to crashes. Examples would include:
    • Insufficient following distance for the conditions.
    • Not positioning ourselves for maximum control of the vehicle.
    • Not looking far enough ahead.
    • Resting the arm on the window sill – the body is not in the ideal position to engage with the steering wheel in an emergency.
    • Slouching behind the wheel – where the reaction to hazards is limited because the body is not correctly positioned.
    • Gearing down when slowing down – energy is wasted, and modern brakes are underutilised.

What are the most common bad driving habits we find among our drivers?.

An Inappropriate Attitude for Driving

  • Driving with a bad attitude.
  • An aggressive driving attitude and making rude gestures.
  • Lack of patience in heavy traffic.
  • Tailgating across intersections when traffic lights are out of order.
  • Incorrect positioning behind the wheel.
  • Incorrect seating position. [Especially too far back]
  • Sitting too low and having reduced visibility over the steering wheel.

Incorrect hand position on the steering wheel.

  • Incorrect seating position.
  • Arms too stretched or bent for effective control of steering wheel.
  • Failure to ensure adequate visibility.
  • Inadequate depth of vision.
  • Driving with inappropriate footwear such as flipflops and platform shoes.

Failure to Remain Alert and Vigilant

  • Poor observation and concentration.
  • We also see a lot of drivers who focus too much on their mirrors. This becomes a challenge when trying to use foresight to look ahead on the roads to prevent potential accidents.
  • Distracted driving [ Other than the illegal use of cellular phones while driving.]
  • Driving with the hand on the gear lever.
  • Loud music and inattention to other road users and traffic conditions.
  • Driver fatigue and not taking rest stops.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. [ When legally below the alcohol limit but with reduced reaction time]
  • Assuming safety at intersections and that a green light is a “Go”.

Non-Defensive Driving Habits

  • Lack of following distance.
  • Stopping to close to a vehicle at an intersection.
  • Failure to ensure there is clear space before maneuvering.
  • Not observing and scanning for vehicles in the blind spot.
  • Failure to ensure that there are always escape routes available and to adapt speed, following distance and position on the road when there are not.
  • Inappropriate speed for traffic, road and weather conditions.
  • Failure to observe the environment and traffic pattern and react predictively.
  • Failure to use the correct lane for progress and visibility.
  • Yielding at stop streets Not checking and assuming the right of way at intersections.
  • Costing to a stop with the clutch engaged.
  • Clutching before braking, coasting (where the driver engages neutral before coming to a stop), slipping the clutch, (engaging “half-clutch” for longer than is necessary; riding the clutch (when  the driver rests the foot on the clutch) or when a driver brakes or clutches going into a turn or a bend.
  • Multiple vehicles overtaking.

Ho do you reduce bad driving habits?

Start educating and training at an earlier age.

Defensive driver training.

Awareness/educational campaigns.

Traffic laws need to be enforced without corruption.